Guest blogger Sally Ann Murphy here, with post three of our Summer Business Series. Let me ask a couple of questions: (1) Why have you decided to take a vacation? (2) Are you planning to bring your laptop? I realize that being connected to the Internet is second nature to many of us but really, do we need to be connected while on vacation?
I know that being busy businesswomen many of us need to stay in touch with what is happening back at the office. I know too that we often feel the need to cut into our summer vacation time to do a little business and stay up-to-date on the latest happenings. There is nothing wrong with having our laptop on vacation as long as we remember that we are on vacation.
Here are a few suggestions I use for my own vacations so I can stay connected and still have quality time to relax and unwind:
1. Decide how often you’re going to connect to WiFi.
We are so used to having WiFi available 24/7 that we often take having an instant Internet connection for granted. I remember camping in parts of our state where we had no cell phone service or WiFi connection. At first I missed that instant link to my email and Social Media accounts and then, I began liking a break from “reality.”
I also learned that I needed to plan out my vacation Internet time carefully. I scheduled time to drive into town a couple days a week and use the WiFi at the coffee shop. Another suggestion I’d offer would be to purchase a wireless card through you cell phone provider, which means if you can get a cell phone connection, you can get WiFi. It’s probably a good idea to check ahead of time to see if the area where you’ll be staying has WiFi and cell phone coverage.
2. Plan and schedule your Social Media and email campaigns in advance.
Schedule as many blog posts, Tweets, Facebook posts and newsletter campaigns as you can before you leave. It’s a great feeling to know your business is staying online even while you are offline relaxing on vacation.
Using tools such as Aweber for autoresponders and Constant Contact for email marketing campaigns, means you can leave your office knowing that your prospects, customers and clients are hearing from you in a timely and consistent manner. Technology really can make life easier!
3. Back up your documents so you can access them anywhere and from any device or computer.
I suggest using automated back up services like Mozy or SugarSync because both services also include mobile apps for a variety of platforms. It’s wise to back up your computer even without an automated service – you never know what may happen to your laptop while you are traveling.
You can also use a USB Flash Drive to keep your documents handy. Load what you need on a Flash Drive and you’ll have the documents you’ll need with you at all times. Flash Drives are inexpensive, small and convenient.
Remember, the whole point of getting away on vacation is to relax, unwind and rejuvenate. Wouldn’t you agree it is important you keep a peaceful and workable balance between enjoying your vacation and keeping track of business? Have FUN this summer and enjoy your time with family and friends!
Sally Ann Murphy, guest blogger
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